Mass shootings. Hurricanes. Floods. Fires. Earthquakes.
People losing their homes, their belongings, their memories.
But most of all, people losing their people.
Their parents, kids, siblings, friends.
The escalation of mass violence, mass shootings, in this country has been chipping away at me. I find myself simultaneously becoming more numb and more broken each time it happens. Yesterday, with the most recent of these tragedies happening in Texas, my heart has only felt broken – the numbness long gone.
That’s the question the instant suffering enters our lives. Why did that person murder those people? Why did those people have to die? Why wasn’t this prevented?
I ask, too. Those of you who don’t know me – I am a Christian. I believe in Jesus Christ and a God who loves us and is intimately involved with all of us on this globe. And believe me, friend, I ask why.
Why would God allow this?
There never seems to be an answer. Sure, we could discuss theology and what scripture says to get us going in a certain direction, but at the end of it all, we will never have or know all the answers to “why?”
Because we are human. And God is God.
I don’t say that to brush-off the question. It’s a big question. A profoundly deep and painful question – especially when there is no answer in sight – no relief.
I say that because while I don’t have the answers to why, I intimately know the One who does. Who holds it all in His hands.
I have faith. Faith that He knows me, He hears me, He listens to me when I call. And that when I call, when I ask for help – He acts.
Many times I don’t see His actions. Sometimes I see His actions and think “that’s not exactly what I had in mind.” Sometimes, He answers and gives exactly what’s requested.
But every single time, whatever happens, I know that God holds it all in His hands, and I trust Him.
I trust Him more than anything.
He has been with me through all of my ups-and-downs in life. He’s been my friend when I’ve felt alone and has lead me through every struggle and every highlight.
He’s not this far-away entity. My relationship with Him is not a box I check off every Sunday. It’s a very real, living, breathing relationship.
I would love for everyone, for you, to have that too.
But if you don’t – that’s okay. My reason for writing this was not to convert you. It was not to impress you. It’s my attempt to open up my heart to you, to show you where my words come from when I say:
I’m praying for you.
My prayers are with you.
To a person of genuine faith, praying for someone is absolutely the most crucial, most valuable thing they can do for you.
It’s not a cop-out. It’s not a brush-off.
It’s love. It’s faith that in this chaotic world, God has ultimate control and when we pray, He acts.
Is that all we can do? Of course not. We should be doing what we can to help when people are hurting – from donating money, time, travel, to activism and community involvement. I’m certainly not here to say we don’t need to put our hands to work in this world.
My hope is that this helps, even in the smallest way, to show you that prayer is not a simple recitation.
And even if you don’t believe in my God, my faith, my prayers – please see the heart and love and compassion and faith in those that do.
Because our prayers are with you.
Our God is with you.